Pawsibilities NY

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Why You Should Rescue a Dog!

There are several ways to get that dream dog that you have always been looking for. You could go to a breeder, a pet store, a rescue group or shelter. So what’s the difference, and how do you choose?

Breeders are just like any other business, some are really great and responsible, while others are completely negligent and unprofessional. There are some general rules to follow when choosing a breeder. The breeder should let you meet the pup’s mother or parents if possible, the breeder shouldn’t be eager to ship their puppy to you via plane, and they should be familiar with basic handling and socialization techniques for new born puppies. The truth is if you are set on getting your dog from a breeder; do your research! Don’t conform to a set of rules, that may or may not apply to your exact situation. Instead understand the breed you are buying, and the health issues the breed can have, and speak to people who have dogs from that breeder. Ask about the health issues, and if there have been behavioral issues. Talking to other owners will be the best way to find a good breeder, but this blog is about adopting!

You can of course walk into a pet store one day, and walk out with a puppy on the same day. This is probably the only circumstance that allows for this, which should be causing you to question why, right away. Pet stores are not a place to get a puppy. Breeders, or puppy mills who provide these puppies are not concerned with their long term health or behavior, they are breeding for sheer numbers. Also while you might end up with a happy and healthy dog from a pet store; you must stop to realize that your happy, healthy pup’s parents’ are stuck living in horrific conditions, and are forced to over breed while being given little or no exposure to sun, grass or anything of comfort. There really is no excuse for walking into a pet store and buying a dog, it supports an industry of abuse, mistreatment, and cruelty, plain and simple. Websites that sell puppies are also most often puppy mills. This is not to say if your breeder has a website she is breeding in this manner, but if you can directly purchase a puppy from a site with no background information, and only payment required; this is a puppy mill situation. If you can only bring yourself to get a dog from a pet store, then don’t get a dog!

Today there are so many dogs out there that need homes, I am not going to bore you with numbers and statistics, but no matter what state you live in, I can assure you that each and every day, dogs are euthanized simply for lack of space, and not due to health or behavioral issues. Pounds are over run with owner surrenders, and strays, and if a dog stays long enough, his time will eventually come. Many states have no-kill shelters, but a lot of these places cannot take owner surrenders so instead they are pulling dogs from the pounds, which means some dogs don’t make it from the pound to the no-kill shelter. These are the facts, and if you don’t believe me than you should google your local animal control center, and you will see.

Today people can adopt pretty much any dog from a shelter or rescue group. If you don’t set time constraints, and instead choose what you want in a dog, and spend time looking for it: you will find it! My biggest piece of advice is to not be in a rush! Think about how long it takes to have a baby, we don’t just go into a store one day and impulse buy a baby, so we shouldn’t do this with a dog.

I am tired of hearing that someone wants a purebred dog, or a puppy so they had to go to pet store. Worse than that, when people say they went to a pet store because their building doesn’t allow dogs-it won’t be long before this doesn’t work out, and this pet store pup become a pound pup. If you live in a building that doesn’t allow dogs, and you have to have a dog, then move, because this is the kind of sacrifice you need to be willing to make if you are going to properly care for and love a dog for his entire life.

If you spend the time looking you can find any dog, any breed, any age available for adoption, and while it might take longer, the pay off will be well worth it! If you need help finding a dog, reach out to some local dog trainers; a lot of us have options to help you find the right dog for you that are less expensive than full training lessons. Also there are several great websites out there that help compile all the local rescue dogs in your area. My husband and I found our dog on petfinder.com and she is the perfect addition to our family. Petfinder allows you to search for dogs in your area, and set the criteria you want as far as age, gender, size and breed.

If you can’t rescue a dog, there are often lots of ways to help shelters. Check your local shelters to see if they ever need volunteers, foster parents, or even transport drivers to take a dog from the shelter to his new home. In New York City there are several shelters that are part of The Mayor’s Alliance and they often need help will all sorts of different things, from book keeping to web site updating. I started out helping Manhattan’s Bideawee shelter with photographs for their website, and it took me all the way to becoming a dog trainer! There are a lot of dogs out there in need, so even if adopting is not right for you, there are likely many ways you can help these dogs.

If you are thinking about getting a dog and live in the New York City area, we offer dog and family pairing consultations as well as discounted training for all rescue dogs. If you are fostering a dog and need help with him, we also offer discounted training for foster parents, as well as Skype sessions for people in need out of state. Please contact us today for any help or advice!

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